The government wants to ban new oil, coal and gas heaters from 2023, extending to replacements of existing heaters, but it needs a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Austria’s building sector performs way above the EU average. While buildings consume 25% of gas, their emissions are just 13% of the country’s total. With the country largely dependent on Russian gas, experts had urged action to speed up the move away from gas.
“Real independence, real security, will only come about once we free ourselves from the dependence on Russian gas,” explained Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler.
“This can be achieved, but we must switch to alternatives as quickly as possible,” she added.
For buildings, switching heaters would mean relying on “known technologies.” Heat pumps, solar thermal and district heating are generally assumed to be optimal heat sources. In Austria, biomass-based pellet heaters are also popular with people and policymakers.